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An experience and an encounter in a house of welcome

 

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Third meeting of the Commission for Marist Places

15/03/2005: France

A thin mantle of snow greeted the Commission for Marist Places that gathered at the Hermitage for the third time on the 19th and 20th February. The second meeting concluded with the elaboration of a synthesis in which the main guidelines for the future of the Hermitage were outlined. This was done because the Commission members believe that it is necessary to have decided on clear objectives for this project before calling in technicians to develop possible projects.
This latest meeting served to define better what these places that saw the birth of our Institute could become. The contributions of the brothers who live on-site, the expectations of those who occasionally come to the Hermitage and the presence of the architect Joan Piug-Pey all combined to spark ideas and helped to begin the elaboration of a global plan.

All deeply believe that La Valla, the Hermitage, Marlhes and les Maisonnettes are precious places where it is still possible today to encounter the person of Marcellin and the first brothers. In this respect, the Commission has already decided on one direction, even though nothing else is definitive. The Hermitage should be neither a simple museum of Marist origins, nor a generic house of Spirituality nor a qualified centre of research. The Commission’s dream is for a house of welcome where it is possible, with the help of the community, to transform the stay into an experience and an encounter.
For this to happen, it is important to listen to the opinions of all the brothers in the Institute and not only the opinions of those brothers in the Province where the Hermitage is situated. As suggested by the General Council, a questionnaire will be sent in order to receive everyone’s ideas and contributions. For the Commission, this is not just one more questionnaire but rather a means of helping us to fulfil our Marist Vocation Year’s slogan, “Marcellin’s dream: Live it today!” It will also help us to bring to life the words that Marcellin wrote to the brothers in the Circular of the 21st August 1838: “Come, all of you, to be reunited and warmed in the sanctuary which witnessed your becoming children of the most loving of Mothers.”

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